The placemakers project celbrates the places

we love and the people behind them.


If D.C. was once considered a government town where buildings were designed by committee and the most popular restaurants were known by their jingle, well, times have changed.

Creativity and imagination are no longer just bubbling beneath the surface. They’ve broken through and they’re sending green shoots in every direction. Unique, vibrant, authentic places are popping up all over the region.

Like in Park View, where Sean Ruppert and his team at OPaL are breathing new life into an abandoned 110 year old church. He’s preserving an important building and adding to the character of the neighborhood through his love of architecture and design.

Like in Petworth, where Story District recently opened the doors to its new home. This is a remarkable milestone for Amy Saidman and her talented cast of storytellers, teachers, and champions of the spoken word. They’ve gone from hosting small shows in sleepy bars to routinely selling out The Lincoln Theater for their Top Shelf showcase of D.C.’s best storytellers. 

Union Market is another hotbed of creativity. This collection of 40+ shops and eateries is one of DC’s best loved gathering places. It’s attracting people from around the block and around the world, who come to feed off of the energy and creativity of its vendors. 

Interesting people are doing interesting things all over the region, turning their vision, hard work, and passion into amazing places for the rest of us to enjoy. 

These are their stories.